Among the many varieties of Islam, and the numerous Muslim minorities, few are less known but more fascinating than the Bohras. A minority within a minority, this million-strong community of Ismaili Shi‘is emerged in Egypt before their leaders fled to Yemen then finally found refuge in India. In this podcast, we’ll follow the Bohras from medieval Cairo via the remote Haraz mountains of Arabia to their third homeland in Gujarat, where they adopted many aspects of Indian culture, and grew rich from the Indian Ocean trade. But they maintained throughout their loyalty to their hereditary leaders, telling us much from the margins about Muslim religious authority. Nile Green talks to Olly Akkerman, the author of a forthcoming book entitled The Alawi Bohras and the Making of a Neo-Fatimid Library.

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